ENVO – Leading The Way In Sustainable Growth And Innovation

ENVO - Leading The Way In Sustainable Growth And Innovation

We had the opportunity to speak with Ali Kazemkhani, CEO of ENVO Drive Systems, about the measures that SMBs should take to guard against the risks associated with rising interest rates and cybersecurity, the benefits of the dealer programs offered by ENVO, the B2B green mobility program that ENVO has not yet implemented, and ENVO’s upcoming initiatives and strategies for SMBs to grow and prosper in the e-mobility industry, as well as the company’s plans for sustainable growth.

With over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience with a special focus on micro-electric mobility, Ali Kazemkhani founded ENVO Drive System in 2015 to offer people an alternative to fuel vehicles and develop electric micro-mobility solutions that reduce greenhouse emissions. A thought leader and pioneer in mobility design and development, Ali obtained his Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Iran University of Science and Technology.

Ali achieved his first patented Universal Electric Bike Conversion Kit using an SLA battery and direct electric hub motor in 2002. His company, ENVO Drive Systems, offers a wide range of clean-tech products including e-bikes, e-trikes, electric snow bikes/snow karts, waterbike, DIY conversion kits, etc. to more than 20,000 riders through the B2B network of 120 dealers.

As the adoption of alternative fuel vehicles continues to increase, Ali believes electric micro-mobility will be the future, and with support from his splendid in-house engineering team, continues to focus on designing and building affordable clean mobility solutions for everyone.

What was your motivation behind starting ENVO Drive Systems? And how will you describe your over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience as a thought leader and pioneer in mobility design and development?

I developed a passion for electric mobility at a very young age. When I was only 8 years old, I had already built my first ebike using an electric motor from my father’s broken tape player. Although that bike never worked, it sparked my dream of creating a sustainable solution for how people move in their day-to-day lives. I believe in evolving electric mobility to offset the impact of fossil fuels on our planet, and electric solutions will be the future of personal mobility.

With that in mind, I started a business developing one of the first electric bike concepts in 2001 before graduating from university. There were not many people thinking of electric mobility at that time, and  I achieved my first patented Universal Electric Bike Conversion Kit one year later using an SLA battery and direct electric hub motor.

I dedicated my entire youth life to turning my dream into a reality. The establishment of ENVO Drive Systems in 2015 realizes my passion and commitment to offering people electric micro-mobility alternatives that help reduce greenhouse emissions. We focus on making a difference in sustainable and environmentally responsible products to encourage a greener lifestyle in all communities.

ENVO foresees the increasing adoption of alternatives to replace fuel vehicles. That’s why I always want to devote my experience of over 20 years in entrepreneurship and automotive and mechanical engineering to build affordable clean mobility solutions for everyone.

According to a recent survey by KPMG, the majority of businesses have been making efforts to take preventative measures based on lessons learned during the pandemic. What are the various precautions that SMBs must take to avoid the challenges associated with rising interest rates and cybersecurity threats?

Findings show that SMB leaders view rising interest rates as their topmost threat to growth in the coming years, followed by the heightened cybersecurity risks that have arisen as part of their digital transformations. From the standpoint of an innovative engineering company focusing on electric micro-mobility, I may not be the best source to comment on interest rates or cybersecurity. However, I understand the challenges they are facing and trying to overcome.

The pandemic was a reality check for our global dealers, with shipping costs, staffing shortages, and major supply chain issues causing disruptions in their operations. A majority of SMBs also consider themselves to have fewer advantages over large corporations in terms of engaging with vendors and suppliers. With the rising costs as well, retailers in the industry are facing even higher pressures, doing everything they can to retain customers while raising prices out of necessity to stay afloat.

To stay healthy in the long term, SMBs should plan to grow from within to be prepared for any potential challenges. SMBs need to evaluate their operating model to identify the advantages and issues that are impacting their productivity to unlock efficiencies and become more agile. It is also important to understand the market and customers to create more opportunities and initiatives to enhance their organizations and supply chains. ENVO always tries our best to be not only a partner but also a supporter for our dealers to enlarge their offerings, increase customer demands and approach more consumers to stay resilient.

How beneficial are the dealer programs provided by ENVO in expanding the portfolios of nationwide dealers? How does ENVO help them reach more customers searching for an alternative micro-mobility solution?

Understanding the obstacles SMBs in the mobility industry face with supply chain disruptions and consumer expansions, ENVO supports our dealers to stand out of the market by helping them expand their sell listings to catch up with the market trend of green mobility. We offer an unparalleled range of electric micro-mobility products designed to fit many retail business models, from traditional bike shops and micro-mobility retailers to motorsport, RV, and marine retailers. Through a complete spectrum of brand activities, from R&D and production to sales and customer service, we are confident that our affordable, innovative, well-engineered, easy-to-maintain, modern electric micro-mobility solutions are competitive in the market.

Over the past year, we grew our B2B dealer network from 30 to 120 across Canada and the US. This involves a drastic change from direct to consumer model to B2B. Alone in 2022, ENVO transformed its revenue from 26% B2B to 64%.

Besides helping them with our unique and competitive products, ENVO also provides strong digital marketing and online-to-store sales model support to help dealers reach out to more customers. ENVO delivers extensive digital marketing and PR campaigns for lead generation, allowing dealers to convert ENVO’s local digital leads for either in-store pickup or we can ship direct-to-store through ENVO’s Online2Store platform.

What are your thoughts on the B2B green mobility program that ENVO has yet to implement? How will this benefit organizations?

Despite the business size, SMBs have not lost focus on their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) ambitions. Many of them are trying to make efforts for eco-friendly sustainable development. Through our B2B green mobility program, we expect to help not only SMBs but also other organizations to lower their GHG emissions while also saving on high fuel costs for enterprises and their employees. We understand that many workers and business owners are struggling with increasing fuel costs, and we offer them our electric micro-mobility products like e-bikes as an alternative.

To realize the business’ environmental commitment, we give participating organizations e-bikes as a tool to empower daily commutes with a minimum carbon footprint. Besides the perks of discounts and no-interest installment payments, we offer free support from ENVO experts to consult on the most suitable product selections with excellent customer service for organizations. Organizations can also choose the rental option to enjoy a rebate from CleanBC for this program.

What are ENVO’s upcoming initiatives and strategies for SMBs to grow and prosper in the e-mobility industry, as well as the company’s plans for sustainable growth?

ENVO is a big supporter of developing a greener future community with electric micro-mobility solutions. We will continue to expand our dealer network to encourage and empower them to contribute more to the electric mobility industry through our sustainable product series and dedicated support services. On the other hand, our R&D team is devoting their time and effort to coming up with new initiatives to create joyful experiences through high-quality, cutting-edge technology and environmentally responsible e-mobility solutions.

Innovations are always in our growth plan to achieve business sustainability. Currently, we have electric solutions for transiting on different terrains, from our four-season interchangeable e-bike series on roads to SnowBike and SnowKart on snow. We are entering the next phase of development of our latest innovation, the HYDRA Water Bike. The data from our initial year of testing in and out of the water will be used to create key design elements and then soon, a prototype. These product offerings will be continuously upgraded in design to adapt to market feedback and demands.  

E-mobility is premature. Neither the community nor industry stakeholders do not have a clear picture of what urban traveling or transportation will look like in 10 years. Being one of the pioneers, we need to create all the elements of the business and industry including defining demand and requirements, product design, manufacturing, distribution, retail, service and customer support. The future multibillion-dollar industry with thousands of SMBs involved relies on the small steps we take today.

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